A mum-of-nine who claims #38,000-a-year in handouts slammed
benefit slobs for giving large families like hers a “bad name”.
Cheryl Prudham admits having her huge brood by MISTAKE because she and husband
Robert don’t like contraception.
The couple rake in a total tax free income of £53,000-a-year – the equivalent
of an #80,000 gross annual salary – of which 70 per cent comes from benefits.
But the couple claim they are entitled to a bigger council house – because they
both work part-time.
Cheryl, of Sittingbourne, Kent, said: “I see other people in
the paper and it makes me sick. They shouldn’t just get a new home handed to
them on a plate.
“It gives people with big families a bad name. I don’t want people to judge us
because we have so many children.
“If I sat on my arse I would understand people would have something to say.
“We would probably earn more on benefits.
“You see stories about people getting bigger houses and never working a day in
their life and it makes people with big families look bad.
“You wouldn’t keep animals in the confined space we live in. It’s cruel and I
don’t think we’re getting the help we’re entitled to.”
She added: “In the past I have been on contraception but I got pregnant with
the coil and the pill just doesn’t settle well with me.
“We don’t use condoms and me and Rob have never talked about it.
“I did rely on benefits before but I am motivated to be more than a mother.”
And she admitted: “I was surprised by the cost of our kids in the end.”
Cheryl had her first son George, 13, when she was still just 17 and was living
in a homeless hostel in Kent in the summer of 2000.
She soon moved into a flat with her ex-boyfriend and had second son, Jack, now
12, and her eldest daughter Caitlin, now eight.
But the unemployed mum then had three unplanned pregnancies Maisie, now seven,
Lillie, now five, and Madison, now four.
In March 2009 she met current husband Rob and they had Leon, now three.
They then had Lenny, now two, before completing the family with daughter Lainey
in January this year.
Cheryl said Rob has always worked doing temporary jobs in a
bid to provide for her family.
She has now started working 20 hours per week a week as a carer and says this
should entitle her to a bigger house. Neither pays any income tax because their
earnings fall below the minimum threshold.
Cheryl admits her family live “comfortably” but can’t scrape together the
£1,000-a-month rent on a larger private property.
The family currently live in a three-bed terraced home, which means their four
girls are left to sleep in two bunk beds in the property’s largest room.
Two-year-old Lenny sleeps in a cot in the middle while the three eldest boys
are crammed into a box room.
That leaves Cheryl and Rob sleeping in the only other bedroom with their infant
A tight kitchen means there is no room for a dinner table and the youngest
children are made to eat their food on the floor.
Cheryl said: “I know it’s possible to have two houses knocked through into one
big house because I’ve read they do that for people.
“I know by having nine children I’ve put myself in this situation, but I can’t
live like it anymore. I thought I could, but I can’t.
“Realistically, we’re not going to find anything bigger than four bedrooms.
“But even an extra bedroom would make the world of difference. It’s depressing
for me, and the kids argue all the time because there’s no space to play.”
Families in the county can bid for council homes through Kent Homechoice which
works alongside Kent County Council.
A spokesman for the housing association has now said they were “working with
the resident” in a bid to resolve the situation.
He said: “We’re working with the resident to assist with her situation. We’ve
very few four bedroom homes, so they rarely become available.
“It’s also rare for adjacent properties to become empty, allowing us to create